Patty's Mammie Grams

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dec 26 - Six New Posts - Read 'em While They're Hot!

Dec 26 Today Radiation Day 20 - 10 Days Left!

I'm still counting on January 10 as being my last day of radiation, then another MRI, then the appointment to talk about my next 5 years of hormone medication therapy. To kill any of the estrogen I might have left!

Dec 26 Bob's Birthday - He is 51!

This is now the catchup entry - zooming by the rest of December.
I missed my friend Marian's Caroling Party this year. We were all too burned out to go out again that evening.
I really must ask my family to draw Christmas names a bit earlier, as I always end up trying to make something too ambitious, too late. Happened again this year - I am still working on the presents, and decided they are late anyway, I'll take a break and write and make you all read for hours.
So - December consists of working, getting all the heads of hair ready for the parties and the company and the family and the trips out of town. It is fun and exciting to hear of all the plans everyone has.
After I worked Monday morning to take care of my peeps who had appointments on Tuesday, I came home and spent the better part of the afternoon putting out our Luminarias. I am a 'block captain', and take the orders, pick up the white bags and 'plumbers candles' (?why are they called that?),
count out the proper numbers of sets, deliver them all in time for the homeowners to fold the bags over on the top edge, and then pick up the bags of sand from the neighborhood pool and scoop out the proper number of cups of sand to bags (2 cups in each bag) and then deliver it all. Whew. I love seeing everyone every year!
Then, finally,
we spent Christmas Eve as usual, up at Bob's folks in northwest Tucson, and then had Christmas there. Stockings, breakfast, more stockings, presents, cooking, eating, cleaning, resting, playing games, playing with new presents.
Then driving tiredly home.
Then to work today.
Happy catch up reading and Happy New Year!
Questions? Write me a note. I'm so sorry it has been so long. I got bogged down and then overwhelmed thinking of how far behind I was.
Now I'm not.
Peace and love and hope for happiness and health for the New Year. Go 2008! You have to be good. 2007 was a challenge.
Be well Natalie Carol.
I love you all. Patty : ) (Who has rather a lot of hair - just not very long) I'm trying to figure out a way to post a link for pictures so dial up people don't have their internet connection get bogged down. Anyone have suggestions for a free or cheap site sort of like Flicker? All suggestions will be read and appreciated and maybe I'll move forward on one of them. Or my personal assistant will!!! ; )
Peace out. Patty

Dec 10 I Have My Own Personal Assistant

My new best friend is Nicole - my miracle worker and my new personal assistant.
It is a long story, but I think I have found the answer (I hope) to my perennial piles of paper. We are working on it. I hope Bob and Sara will be able to live through the mess while we sort, and have to leave it till the next time we can get together.
She will help me file, pay bills, sort medical stuff, turn in paperwork for the Medical Savings Account - or whatever it's called.
And organize. My piling system - I mean my filing system. My sewing room, my life. I hope.
I'm putting a lot of hope and faith into this girlfriend. Woooo Hoooo!

Dec 1 My Birthday - 55 I think! I'm the speed limit!

I have gotten so far behind on letting you all know what is going on in my life of the cancer patient.
My sister Sally told me that a wise someone told her - "You will never catch up - you'll spend the rest of your life trying." Or something sort of like that. Sally? Help me and my memory.
Anyway, I am going to try to give you some highlights.
It has been extremely busy - Radiation every morning at 8:10 a.m. - who the heck asked for that time slot - I never get to sleep late, now.
Bob's Aunt Dot and Uncle Roger came to visit George (and the rest of us) the first week of December - and we got to see them a couple of times. It was a very busy week for all three LeCompte families here in Arizona, but I think we managed to get the visiting in.
That week, I had two choir rehearsals, Radiation every morning, Sara had two Dr. appointments, I had a dentist appointment, then the end of the week came. I worked on Saturday, came home and got ready for my concert, and wore my costume to Bob's work Christmas party. I had to leave after about an hour, to go rehearse again, and warm up for the concert. Bob and Sara were able to stay about 2 hours.
The concert was a whopping success!!! IMHO (In my humble opinion). We had so much fun.
Then --- Sunday I worked in the lobby in the 'boutique' at the Southwest Nutcracker. I've been volunteering for a while, after my friend asked me the first time. It is fun to see all the little ones coming to see the big girls dance. I love it.
Sara and Bob headed over to the Fourth Avenue Street Fair while I helped pack up unsold items and then break down the displays. What a lot of hard work those parents do. Often.
My salon had our Christmas party on Monday the 10th - the two owners take us all out to eat (whatever we want, off the menu) and we each bring a Christmas Ornament and play "That Game". You know the one - I just don't know what it is called. Everyone gets a number, then #1 chooses a package, opens it, #2 may steal that ornament, or choose another package to open #3 same and so on and so on. It is a lot of fun, always there are a few spectacular ornaments that every one wants.

Bob's good friend Nick turned 50, and we had a surprise drop in at the restaurant

Nov 21 Gross Out Alert - Do Not Read If Runny Nose and Mucus Production Sounds Icky ; )

I finally got tired of my nose problem - running sinuses and then a bloody nose almost daily for the last year or so. I called the ENT the cancer doc suggested, and got in to see them quickly. It was 8:00 a.m. the morning before Thanksgiving.
I tell you that so you will appreciate this: the nice doctor said "Oh my, you do have a blood vessel in there that needs cauterized - and this other side is even worse!"
So, a quick blast of air to dry them (the nostrils) out, then a blast of anesthesia, out to have a seat elsewhere for a few minutes, then back in the office to have it cauterized. I realized that -- this might hurt, what was I thinking, anyway?!
Too late, he dipped a q-tip thingy into a bottle of 'stuff' (I found out later - silver nitrate) and applied it inside my nostrils. Done! We talked for a couple minutes more - what do I do about this deviated septum etc., and I said - "Oh, it feels as though my nose is dripping" He assured me it was not. OK says I.
I drive to work - walk to the salon from the parking lot, meeting up with a couple co-workers, one of them looking at me strangely, and saying "Patty, What do you have on your nose?!" I tried to hide it - thinking I had not cleaned it well after the Dr. appt. I covered it with my hand, went into the salon and looked into the first mirror I could find.
I had a big black drip from my nostril halfway to my upper lip!!!!! They all called me booger face all the rest of the day. Cute! Not!
It was the silver nitrate that did that. I did not enjoy what happened the rest of the day. I tried to cover the black with concealer. That worked, however, my running nose had to be wiped. There went the concealer. After a few more times of this, I gave up and plugged the nostrils with tissue. Then the best time began. The nose began running so much that I could cut about 2 clips of hair, reach for a tissue to blow my nose, go wash my hands, come back and pick up my scissors and take two more snips and have to do it all over again. I gave up and ended up just plugging both nostrils with toilet tissue and wearing a face mask over that gorgeousness for the rest of the day. I still had to take breaks to redo all that every hour or so. Turns out - that was a result of the anesthesia. I really could have done this a different day than the day before Thanksgiving.
Oh - I didn't tell you - I called the Dr. back - no call back to me till the end of the day, and then they said - oh, the black stuff will wear off. WHEN?
In a few days !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It did, and my runny nose calmed down and all was pretty right with the world.
And my nose has stopped bleeding for the first time in a year or so. The miracles of modern medicine!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Dec 10 Exposed? to Tuberculosis - All Fine

I got a letter from the University Medical Center informing me that because I had been to the UMC Cancer center between the dates X to Z (can't remember) that I had been exposed to TB.
There had been a cancer patient there those dates who had just been diagnosed with an active case of TB. SOOOO... I had to go get a TB test, for which all the doctors assured me was a very highly unlikely possibility that I had anything to worry about. The dates were screwy for me to go to the clinic they had set up at UMC, so I ended up at a Pima County Health Department office. Then back again 2 days later to have it read - absolutely nothing. As far as I know, it was all a tempest in a teapot. The nurses I know all said you would have to "be a cell mate for months, with them coughing on you daily, to contract this disease". I'm glad they were proactive, anyway.
As usual - all is fine.

Dec 5 6th Radiation Today - Found The Aloe Vera

I finally got the correct aloe vera gel for my skin today. I had been warned that patients were looking all over town and then paying way too much money for the stuff the Dr. had suggested, but it still took me 5 trips to 4 stores to get the correct formulation. Nursie Jan told me that I could find it very cheaply at the Dollar Store. I went to the store right by our house, nothing there - and realized that it was 'Big Lots'. Oops. So the next day I asked Jan where was the Dollar Store, and she sent me on down the road. I stopped by there - 'Family Dollar Store'. Nothing. I walked in to the health food store right next to it, and after they told me they were closed, I asked if they had the stuff. Yes they had aloe vera gel and they would be open at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Too bad - it was too far to go back, so they lost that sale. So, I finally realized there was a vitamin store right across the street from my house, stopped by and looked and studied and found the purest product I could find, and when I showed the nurse, she laughed because I took her so literally, to find pure aloe vera. She just meant for it to not have alcohol or any perfume that would irritate the skin. So, back I went to the Vitamin Warehouse to exchange the drinkable aloe vera for a gel that will spread easily. I was supposed to begin using it right off the bat, and now I've already had 6 treatments and oh no, it's all ruined now. My chest. Not. ; )
I'm still trying to envision the snowy white beaches with alabaster sand and snowy white clouds. We'll see if it helps. I'll try to think of that instead of all the songs I'm supposed to be memorizing for our Holiday Concert Saturday night. "Sis-ters, Sis-ters, never were there such devoted sisters." I do not have the 'slap your thighs, clap your hands, and snap your fingers' part down, at all. We will all just be laughing at ourselves up there, and I'll be the one clapping when everyone else is on to the snapping and saying 'whee' after everyone else has already said it. You all are invited to laugh along with us. Please!
Please, please, everybody come to our concert. Saturday December 8, 7:00p.m. at Christ Church United Methodist on the west side of Craycroft, just north of 5th Street. 655 N. Craycroft. Free to the public, pass the hat later, and singing along on a couple of songs. Fun, Fun, and more Fun. We are always in need of and looking for more singers to join our choirs, both Ladies and Youth, (boys and girls). Come and check us out. It's more fun than a barrel of monkeys. : )
I have been trying to keep my days slow at work, and then come home and rest. They have told me that I will probably become fatigued with the radiation, also, but probably not as badly as with the chemotherapy. So far, so good.
I begin tomorrow on the third time slot for the radiation. They started me out at 10 a.m., then it has been 9:10 a.m., and tomorrow begins the 8:10 a.m. slot. This will make it easier to get to work before 10:00 in the morning. I hope.
I see Dr. Croghan every Wednesday morning, after the nurse checks me in - weight, blood pressure, and then, "Are there any problems?" This morning I told her that I had begun a new prescription for my runny allergy nose - a nasal spray. What is it, says she? It begins with an 'A', says I. "I think it is ... Aricept." The nurse put her head down on the examining table, she was laughing so hard. Says she, "I don't think so - that is a medication for Alzheimer's!" Oops. I said - "I don't snort that up my nose?" Nope! We were both laughing so hard we were crying. I still don't remember the name of the med. She doesn't even care, either. : ) Maybe I do need the Aricept!
We went out tonight to a surprise celebration for a friend's 50th birthday, and we ended up with I think 13 folks. We just kept dribbling in, and the BD boy really didn't have any idea. It was fun.
Bed time - I was up waaay too late last night. Everyone be careful out there - take care and don't drink and drive. There were several that were going to be doing that tonight - makes me cringe. A life altering experience just waiting to happen. SOAPBOX ALERT
Less that 3 weeks til Christmas, in case anyone needed to be told, or reminded. ; )

Love to you all,
Patty. (Who is growing some fuzzy stuff on her head, that will need to be trimmed soon.) (Not so much.)